Do you think that having at least one cavity as a child is normal?
You’re wrong: getting a cavity whether you’re young or old is preventable and is not something that happens to everyone.
Take a look below to learn how you can prevent your children from ever getting a cavity. (You also will learn how to prevent any more cavities from growing in your own mouth.)
Cavities really are the end result of tooth decay and tooth decay takes place over time. That is, you don’t not have tooth decay one moment, get tooth decay the next, blink and then have a cavity form. You actually can halt (and possibly even reverse) the tooth decay and cavity process!
First, a definition of what tooth decay actually is: it’s the end result of an infection caused by certain kinds of bacteria that use the sugars found in food to make acid. These acids, over time, work to make a cavity in a tooth.
Bacteria in our mouth forms what is called dental plaque. This is a clear, sticky film that we often feel on our teeth when we haven’t brushed in a while (it’s always forming, but we feel it more when we don’t brush to remove it). What’s more, the sugars and starches in the foods we eat and drink work with the bacteria in our teeth to make acids, which start to eat away our tooth enamel (the hard, outer surface of our teeth).
“Yum, candy!” say the bacteria and acids in her mouth. “Let’s start making a cavity!”
Meanwhile, the calcium and phosphate found in our saliva works with the fluoride in our toothpaste and water to repair our tooth enamel by replacing the minerals eaten away from our teeth when the mouth acids go to work.
In a nutshell, our teeth lose and regain minerals throughout the day.
The more sugars and starches we ingest – and the less we brush our teeth – the more acid attacks our enamel, causing it to lose more minerals. As this goes on – more sugar, less brushing and fluoride – you might notice a white spot form on one or more teeth. This is a sign that minerals have been lost and not replaced and it’s an early sign of tooth decay.
Unless the enamel has a chance to repair itself using fluoride and minerals found in saliva, more minerals are lost and the weaker your enamel becomes, until it’s destroyed and a cavity forms.
A cavity is permanent damage, which your dentist repairs with a filling.
So how can you halt or reverse tooth decay?
Brush your teeth two or even three times a day with fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride prevents the loss of minerals in your tooth enamel and even replaces those minerals that have been lost. It also lowers the ability of bacteria to form acid.
To keep your children from ever developing even a single cavity, remember that any time your children eat or drink anything with sugar or starch in it, bacteria will use it to produce acids, which will then start to attack the youngsters’ tooth enamel.
What’s more, the more frequently your children eat (between brushing sessions), the number of acid attacks they’ll see during the day, and the more the acid has a chance to win the war for your children’s tooth enamel.
So if your children eat frequently during the day, get them brushing three times a day, instead of the recommend two. And limit the amount of sugary and starchy foods they eat.
image courtesy of marin/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Hi Brent, Ideas shared by you are really effective and informative. I would like to add some points on this stuff. Start cleaning your baby's teeth as soon as the first tooth appears. Cleaning or brushing your child’s teeth helps remove the bacteria that cause decay. One of the best ways to avoid baby bottle tooth decay is to not allow your baby to nurse on a bottle while going to sleep. Encouraging your young child to drink from a cup as early as possible will also help stave off the problems associated with baby bottle tooth decay. Good sharing.